For those of us who keep a steady watch on organic search engine rankings, we see them change frequently, apparently inexplicably. Expert Stoney deGeyter, on Search Engine Guide says “A site may gain or lose rankings on a daily basis due to algorithm changes, a dropped or added link, or a site is added or removed from the search engine’s index. Some ranking changes can be traced to a particular event while others occur for what seems like no particular reason. In essence, rankings change because change happens.”
That is certainly not good news for a business owner who is trying to manage his/her own organic rankings. We recently had a client’s relevancy score drop right across the board – for no apparent reason. Due to the fact that we have 12 Senior Geeks, they were able to figure it out, but not without some turmoil and lots of discussion. And not to forget trying 20 different things before we got to the bottom of it. Stoney goes on to say “But understanding what causes typical loss of rankings can give us a better insight into sea of search engine ranking fluctuations. This insight can help you prevent serious long-term effects caused by a sudden drop in search engine rankings. While we can never prevent all losses of search engine rankings, understanding the reasons why changes occur can, at least, help you make your presence in search results more stable.
Reasons for ranking changes can be boiled down to three basic events:
1) Your site changes
2) a competitor’s site change
3) the search engine algorithm changes
In this case it was a change of algorithm, specifically from Google. Seems they have been quite busy since Bing! launched. Even for a Company like Google, whom I think most of us have a great deal of respect for, I guess there’s nothing like a good competitor to drive change.
But the key point that Stoney makes is to have an SEO expert on your team at all times. We must all decide what the key role of our websites are, but they should always have an organic ranking priority. In other words, no matter your strategy, SEO is crucial in today’s marketplace. It has been a misunderstood “ugly sister” to web development, yet it is at the core of every site.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5, August 2009